Flaunt your green thumb by Growing Dischidia ovata Indoors and shower your home with the freshness of the tropics!
Native to the tropics of Southeast Asia, Dischidia ovata Watermelon is widely loved for its fascinating epiphytic nature, cascading growth habit, and intricately veined foliage. The best part–—it isn’t fussy and has minimal requirements. If you are still in doubt, follow this informative article to learn everything about Growing Dischidia ovata Indoors!
- Botanical Name: Dischidia ovata
- Popular as—Dischidia ovata ‘Watermelon’, Watermelon Dischidia, Dischidia Watermelon
- Loves bright, dappled sunlight
- Thrives in a temperature range of 60° to 85°F (16° to 29°C)
- Flaunts the best foliage in humidity levels of 60-80%
- Non-Toxic to pets
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What is Dischidia Ovata?
Member of the Apocynaceae family, Dischidia ovata is a unique epiphytic plant featuring wiry vines holding succulent, ovate leaves. The leaves are typically green and glossy with a beautiful striped pattern resembling watermelon rinds, earning it the nickname—Dischidia Watermelon. Additionally, the plant produces small, inconspicuous flowers that look attractive amidst the lush foliage.
With an ability to thrive in a variety of indoor environments and attractive cascading habit, Dischidia ovata ‘Watermelon’ looks beautiful in hanging baskets, plant ladders, and high shelves.
Dischidia Ovata Variegata
The Dischidia ovata Variegata is a stunning cultivar of Dischidia ovata, distinguished by its eye-catching foliage variegated with a mix of green, creamy white, and sometimes even pink, creating a striking contrast and visual interest. The variegated pattern occurs due to a lack of chlorophyll in some parts of the leaves, which results in lighter coloration.
However, like its non-variegated counterpart, it is an epiphytic plant that thrives in well-draining, airy growing mediums and bright, indirect light.
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Dischidia ovata Flower
Dischidia ovata Watermelon produces tiny, bell-shaped flowers, typically cream to pale yellow in color, with purple stripes, creating a unique, waxy texture. The late winter blooming flowers approximately measure 0.2 inches in diameter and emit a subtle, sweet fragrance that attracts pollinators such as ants and other insects. Although the flowers are relatively inconspicuous compared to the plant’s distinctive foliage, they add an additional layer of charm and interest to its beauty.
Dischidia ovata vs Peperomia quadrangularis
Dischidia ovata and Peperomia quadrangularis belong to two distinct families, respectively—Apocynaceae and Piperaceae. Former is an epiphytic plant with variegated, oval-shaped leaves and delicate, bell-shaped flowers, whereas Peperomia quadrangularis, features square-shaped, deep green leaves with prominent veins running along their length.
While both plants can be cultivated indoors and are relatively easy to care for, they exhibit distinct growth habits and appearances, making them unique choices for plant enthusiasts.
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Ideal Pot Size
The ideal pot size for Dischidia ovata largely depends on the plant’s current size and root system, ideally one size larger than the root ball to allow enough room for growth. A 4-6 inches pot is good enough for a young Dischidia ovata Watermelon. As the plant grows and the roots start coming out of the holes, you may need to transfer it to a one-size bigger container.
Dischidia ovata Propagation
Dischidia ovata Propagation is easy and can be done using stem cuttings:
- Select a 4-6 inch robust stem with 3-4 leaves from a healthy, disease-free plant.
- Cut below a node with sterilized scissors or pruning shears.
- Remove lower leaves, leaving 1-2 leaves at the top, and allow the cut end to callous for a few hours.
- Fill a pot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the cutting into it.
- Water the medium thoroughly and place it in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
Monitor root development for 2-4 weeks, within which new growth will appear. You may then hold back on watering and let the new plant acclimate to the new environment.
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Dischidia ovata Care
Watermelon Dischidia flourishes under optimal lighting conditions that cater to its epiphytic nature, ideally—bright, dappled light throughout the day. A spot near a north or east-facing window will provide an ideal balance of gentle morning sunlight and shade from the harsh afternoon rays.
Lack of light exposure will make the vines leggy, so ensure supplemental light sources such as LED grow lights or fluorescent lamps if natural lighting is inconsistent.
A well-formulated growing medium with an ideal blend of drainage, aeration, and moisture retention is essential to support the healthy growth of Dischidia ovata. Mix equal parts of high-quality orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss or coconut coir to ensure the plant’s roots receive adequate air circulation and prevent the onset of root rot due to excess moisture.
Alternatively, you may use a specialized commercial potting mix designed for epiphytes to create the perfect growing environment for the plant.
As an epiphyte, Dischidia ovata ‘Watermelon’ prefers a moist medium that is not soggy. Follow a weekly deep watering session by saturating the medium and letting excess water drains out. Repeat the process when you find the top two inches dry to touch.
Adjust the watering frequency according to the temperature and humidity levels. Also, hold back on watering during the plant’s dormant seasons in the colder months.
Temperature and Humidity
Dischidia ovata thrives in environments that replicate its native tropical habitat with a temperature range of 60° to 85°F (16° to 29°C) and consistent humidity levels of 60-80%. To avoid temperature-induced stress, keep the plant away from drafty windows or doors during colder months, ensuring a stable environment.
Place the plant on a pebble tray filled with water, use a humidifier, or regularly mist the plant with lukewarm water to meet the humidity levels on drier days. Grouping Dischidia ovata with other humidity-loving plants can also contribute to a stable, moist atmosphere.
Feed your Dischidia Watermelon with a balanced 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer or a specialized epiphyte formulation, diluted to half-strength, every 4-6 weeks during the growing season in spring and summer. Over-fertilization can result in salt accumulation in the soil, leading to root damage and impaired growth, which is why you must refrain from fertilizing during the plant’s dormancy in fall and winter.
Use sterilized scissors or pruning shears to trim back leggy or overgrown stems during the spring and summer. This will encourage branching, giving the plant a fuller, lush appearance. Also, remove dead or yellowing leaves to prevent the spread of diseases and maintain the plant’s overall health.
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Major Troubleshooting Tips
While growing Dischidia ovata Watermelon is a rewarding experience, here are a few issues you might encounter:
- Yellow Leaves indicate overwatering or inadequate lighting. Ensure the soil dries slightly between waterings and expose it to bright, indirect light.
- Drooping or Wilting Leaves are majorly a sign of underwatering or overwatering. Check the soil moisture and keep it evenly moist but not soggy. Ensure enough drainage holes in the pot.
- Brown Leaf Tips/Edges could be due to low humidity or inconsistent watering. Boost humidity using a pebble tray or misting tepid water and maintain a consistent watering schedule.
- Leggy Growth may be due to insufficient sunlight. Move it to a brighter spot with indirect sunlight or use a grow light.
- Pests are often a result of overwatering or inadequate air circulation. Keep an eye out for common pests like mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Treat infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil spray, and isolate the affected plant from others to prevent the spread of pests.
- Root Rot is caused by overwatering or poor drainage. If you notice a foul smell or black, mushy roots, carefully remove the affected roots, let the plant dry out, and repot it in fresh, well-draining soil.
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Where to Buy Dischidia ovata Watermelon?
Finding a Dischidia ovata for Sale is not challenging due to its wide availability. For a convenient and wide range of options, consider browsing reputable online plant retailers or marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.
Additionally, local nurseries and garden centers often carry a diverse selection of houseplants, including the Watermelon Dischidia. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance, as knowledgeable staff can provide valuable information on plant care and availability.
You may also consider plant swap events and social media groups dedicated to houseplant enthusiasts to connect with others and potentially acquire a houseplant for your home.